Choosing a wedding reception site can be overwhelming. The first thing we suggest you do is to sit down and discuss what you are both looking for in finding the perfect reception site. For instance, are you interested in getting married outdoors in a garden? Or perhaps the thought of a historic mansion appeals to you?
Make a list of all the sites that appeal to both of you. Making sure that each site has the essentials that you are looking for. Give the reception site a call and set up an appointment to visit. While on the phone, make sure that the person on the receiving end is helpful in answering all your questions. This person will probably be the one who helps plan your wedding. So you want them to be as helpful and courteous as they can be.
To save time in choosing a reception site, plan on visiting more than one site (if they are close by) in a day. But try not to visit more than three sites in a day - or things just start to blend together and you tend to forget the little details! It's a good idea to bring along a notebook and take notes. Make a note of how clean and neat each site is kept. Make sure that the furnishings and the carpets are clean (not to mention the restrooms!).
When speaking with the reception manager, make sure you feel comfortable with him/her. This will be the person who helps you coordinate the details of your wedding. You want to deal with someone that you can trust. If your reception site is catering your meal, you should be sure that you taste the food. You may have to make another appointment to come back to sample the food.
When should you reserve the reception site? It's never too early! Especially if you are having your wedding during "peak season" or at a popular destination. The only disadvantage to booking your site early is that you'll have to sign a contract and leave a nonrefundable deposit.